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School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘sports reporting’

UM School of Journalism and New Media grad student is covering Ole Miss sports for Sports Illustrated

Posted on: September 22nd, 2021 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate student is covering Ole Miss sports for Sports Illustrated magazine this semester.

John Gillespie, a native of Vardaman, said he heard about the job “through the grapevine.”

“Adjunct instructor Jeff Roberson, who I also consider a close friend, approached me about Sports Illustrated’s desire to relaunch their team website that had been dedicated to Ole Miss coverage,” Gillespie said. “The site had been dormant for about a year or so. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but then I had a conversation with my friend and classmate, Cameron Breeland, about the opening, and I thought, ‘Why not? Let’s reach out and see what they say.'”

John Gillespie

John Gillespie

Gillespie said there was a month-long process of establishing a business plan and a sales pitch to the editorial team at SI.

“But once all of those hurdles were cleared, we were up and running late last week, just in time for the Rebels’ football season-opener against Louisville,” he said “I have to give a special thanks to Matt Galatzan, a fellow Ole Miss alum, as well for helping me through this process and running the site alongside me. He also covers Texas and Texas A&M for SI, but being able to cover our alma mater for one of the nation’s premiere sports media brands is a pretty nice setup.”

Gillespie, a graduate of Vardaman High School, was valedictorian and star student of the class of 2016 with an ACT score of 34. He graduated from UM in the spring of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in southern studies. He is now in his second year in the Master’s of Arts in Journalism program with plans to graduate in May.

“I grew up infatuated with Ole Miss,” said Gillespie. “My parents are alums of the university, and I spent many a childhood day taking rides around the campus and watching Ole Miss sports on television or listening on the radio. From a young age, I always knew I wanted to attend Ole Miss just like my parents before me. When the time came to apply and send transcripts in my latter years of high school, I only sent my transcript to one place: here. I never looked back.”

Gillespie said he’s prepared to go “wherever God leads me” after graduation.

“Part of me has a desire to teach journalism at the university level while continuing to do sports writing and other forms of journalism,” he said, “but we’ll see what doors open up.

“I will say this, however: if God wants me to stay in Oxford, Mississippi, for the rest of my life, I am totally on board with that plan. There’s a certain magic and mystique to this place that creates some of the most fertile ground for writers in America, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

ESPN sports producer and Mississippi journalists will discuss modern sports reporting Wednesday in Overby Center

Posted on: November 2nd, 2019 by ldrucker

An award-winning ESPN producer will join other Mississippi journalists in a panel discussion about sports reporting Wednesday in the Overby Center Auditorium.

ESPN’s Dwayne Bray will join Mississippi Today‘s Rick Cleveland and the Clarion Ledger‘s Mackenzie Salmon at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6. for a panel discussion on the status and direction of modern sports reporting.

Professor R.J. Morgan will moderate. The event is open to the public.

Bray will also teach a one-week workshop at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media Nov. 4-9.

He will offer a select group of sports-minded students the opportunity to work with him on local enterprise stories about college athletics and local sports.

“Students will also need to carve out additional reporting time,” said Morgan, “but we’re hoping the opportunity to work with a high-quality mentor to develop high-quality clips will make the time commitment a worthwhile investment for them.”

Dwayne Bray will conduct a sports reporting workshop at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

Dwayne Bray will conduct a sports reporting workshop at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

Assistant Dean Debora Wenger said the workshop will focus on helping student journalists do deeper and richer sports reporting.

“Some of the best long-form storytelling you’ll see anywhere right now can be found on ESPN,” she said. “We are thrilled to have senior producer Dwayne Bray coming to campus to facilitate an intensive, week-long focus on sports journalism with some of our most passionate students. We’re hoping to jump-start a number of sports-related projects with Mr. Bray coaching the students through the process.”

Bray, the senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s Enterprise Reporting Unit, joined ESPN in October of 2006 and has overseen the network’s team of journalists who produce long-form stories on issues throughout sports, according to the ESPN Press Room website. Those stories are most often seen on Outside the Lines, SportsCenter and E:60.

According to his ESPN bio, “Bray previously served as ESPN’s onsite news editor for Monday Night Football, the NBA and college football and basketball. Prior to joining ESPN, he was sports editor and deputy managing editor at the Dallas Morning News; sports editor, assistant metro editor and police reporter at the Dayton Daily News; courts reporter at the Los Angeles Times; and staff reporter at the Medina (Ohio) Gazette, ESPN reports.”

He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize three times while working as a reporter and editor in Dayton in the 1990s.

“Bray’s investigative unit has won the Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of human trafficking, the Alfred. I duPont Award for coverage of corruption in youth football and two Peabody awards – one for coverage of football brain injuries and one for coverage of allegations of sexual abuse at Michigan State,” his bio reads.

Bray graduated from Cleveland State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University.

If you require special assistance relating to a disability, please contact Sarah Griffith at 662-915-7146 or via email at Please request accommodations as soon as possible to allow time for arrangements to be made.

For more information, contact Assistant Dean Debora Wenger at 662-915-7146 or